Obesity Essay

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In today’s society overweight or obese people are looked as unhealthy, but is it with every culture? Some cultures don’t view it as unhealthy but as a sign of wealth and healthiness. In Europe during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, obesity was a sign of wealth and prosperity. Today it’s still seen as a sign of wealth and well being in many parts of Africa. Women in Islamic Country of Mauitania are viewed as the bigger they are the more beautiful they are. However, for western cultures obesity is now seen as a growing health risk or disease. Where do we draw the line as obesity being a health issue and growing concern over it being a sign of wealth or health in a culture? Throughout this paper, I will address the issue that cultures face with the growing obesity rates. I’ll look into the culture that except obesity as being beautiful and a sign of wealth, and then look at how this epidemic is causing health and long term effects. First, what is obesity? The World Health Organization defines it as, “Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health.” This is determined by your BMI, body mass index. Which is a person weight divided by the persons height, in kilograms and meters. During the onset of the industrial revolution, leaders realized that increasing the body size was an important social and political factor. For the military countries, it was critical to depend on the size and strength of the younger generation. Thus, they moved the BMI up from underweight range towards normality. This was an important impact on survival and productivity, playing a central role in the economic development of industrialized societies.1 However, throughout the years the BMI has increasingly gone up. In David B. Resnik article, A More Ethical Strategy Against Obesity: Changing the Built Evironment,

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